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Arizona baseball drops finale, and series, at Utah

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It’s hard to win when both the pitching and hitting aren’t coming through.

Arizona dropped its second consecutive game at Utah, falling 11-4 on Saturday afternoon in Salt Lake City to drop its second straight Pac-12 series.

The Wildcats (24-12, 11-7) were up 4-2 in the top of the third after a Tanner O’Tremba home run, then had two on with two out in that inning but couldn’t add any more. They wouldn’t score again, managing only four hits and three walks over the final 6.1 innings.

Arizona was 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position after being 2 for 11 in that category in Friday’s 9-5 loss. Utah, meanwhile, was 7 for 17 with runners in scoring position and 6 for 14 with 2 out, getting seven straight runners to reach with two out in the third.

The first six of those were against UA starter Chandler Murphy, who allowed eight runs in 2.2 innings. That followed a 3-inning start by Garett Irvin on Friday.

Freshman lefty Eric Orloff went the next 3.2 innings, going unscathed until the 7th when he loaded the bases with one out. Quinn Flanagan couldn’t keep the inherited runners from scoring, allowing a sacrifice fly and a 2-out, 2-run double.

Utah (20-14-1, 7-8) recorded 15 hits, getting at least 13 in each game of the series. Arizona’s pitchers have allowed 10 or more hits in seven of the last nine games.

Nik McClaughry went 4 for 5 from the leadoff spot, recording two doubles and driving in a pair, and No. 9 hitter Jack Grant was 1 for 1 with three walks, but the rest of the UA lineup was 4 of 29.

Arizona heads to Omaha where, after having Easter Sunday off, it will take on Creighton Monday and Tuesday evening inside Charles Schwab Field, where the College World Series is held. Both games will be on national television, with Monday’s 4 p.m. PT contest on Fox Sports 1 and Tuesday’s 6 p.m. PT tilt on CBS Sports Network.